Consumers are beginning to have a change of heart about cannabis-infused products.
Eight in 10 Americans have changed their mind about cannabis and marijuana usage, with 46% strongly agreeing it was due to the rise of CBD products, according to a survey from HempFusion. Thirty-six percent of Americans have tried a CBD product within the past year, reported New York Post (Oct. 15).
Baby Boomers are the most likely to try a CBD candy as their first product, at 62%, compared to 51% of the overall population. CBD coffee is the next most popular product to try at 49%. Of the 67% of respondents who tried a CBD product, six in 10 tried a dietary supplement first.
"The CBD market is very interesting in that it spans multiple generations," said Ashley Grace, CMO of HempFusion. "Younger generations have grown up with medical marijuana so they are already onboard with legal, hemp CBD. Older generations are interested as well and their attitudes are now clearly shifting to be more open to these natural, plant-based solutions."
Millennials, males and those with four-year degrees are currently the key CBD demographics, according to a report from Acosta. Fifty-six percent of Millennials reported daily or as-needed use of CBD, compared to 32% of Gen X and 15% of Boomers.
As consumers increase their use of CBD products, food and beverage companies are responding with a plethora of new products. In the past few weeks alone, Puration launched TranquiliTeaCBD, a CBD-infused iced tea, and CBD-infused coffee; WeHo Bev Co. introduced Chaser, a zero-calorie hemp- and CBD-infused cocktail mixer and chaser; Docklight Brands added lifestyle CBD beverages and confections to its portfolio; Bolthouse Farms launched CBD Functional Infusions; and the founder of Edible Arrangements expanded into the hemp cannabidiol market with his latest venture, Incredible Edibles.
Changes in regulations and company policy have also made it easier to buy and sell CBD products. Square Inc. will begin offering payment processing capabilities to CBD sellers, charging 3.9% plus 10 cents per transaction for in-person payments, while online payments will cost 4.2% plus 30 cents per transaction, reported MarketWatch (Oct. 7). Shopify Inc. is also introducing new features for U.S. retailers of hemp and CBD. The company plans to offer tools including online store design, payment, shipping and marketing in more than 40 states to merchants of hemp-derived cannabidiol, reported Bloomberg (Sept. 17).
Even in cities where regulations are still unclear, food and drink businesses are finding it's lucrative to keep offering CBD products. New York City's health department told bakeries, restaurants, coffee shops and other food sellers in February that they were not permitted to put CBD in prepared foods, giving establishments until Oct. 1 to comply with the rules or face a fine of up to $650, reported Crain's New York Business (Oct. 14). However, CBD-infused coffee, cookies and other food items are still for sale across the city.
Owner Artem Arnopulo of the Forever Coffee Bar says he will continue to serve CBD products until regulators give him a warning. "We're waiting for them. I'm really a bit upset about it if we cannot sell this anymore because CBD is kind of special and people are so excited about it."
Jennette has been with The Food Institute since 2013. As Marketing Director, she is responsible for promoting all Food Institute books, seminars and webinars, as well as writing and editing the Food Institute’s annual publications. Additionally, she writes for and edits the daily news update, Today in Food, and contributes to the biweekly Food Institute Report. She has a background in non-profit and environmental marketing, programming and writing, and graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in Communication Studies.
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